The Salzburg fortress dinner and concert was one of the events that we attended during our recent trip to Austria. Was it worth attending or was it a tourist trap? That was a question on our minds before we made a reservation for the fortress visit, dinner and concert. Fortress Hohensalzburg, one of the largest existing fortress complexes in Europe, sits on top of a hill overlooking Salzburg, the city of Mozart. The dinner is held at the Panorama Restaurant, followed by a concert in one of the rooms at the top of the fortress.
Fortress Hohensalzburg is a landmark that can be seen from many parts of Salzburg. Since it was a place that we had to visit anyway, we decided to book our tickets as we could kill three birds with one stone. The dinner and concert ticket includes a ride up and down the funicular rail. You can see the rails at the right side of the photo below. It is a short ride of about a couple of minutes up the steep slope.
The dinner and concert started at 6 pm and 8 pm respectively. The start of dinner is flexible as diners have their own tables. We did a tour of the fortress before starting our dinner. The fortress itself was large and impressive by virtue of its size and location. The concert was held in one of the rooms on the higher floors of the fortress and required climbing a few flights of stairs (picture above). Visitors can get a view of almost the whole old town of Salzburg (picture below).
At the lower levels of the fortress is a restaurant. The Panorama Restaurant is a regular restaurant catering to visitors to the Fortresses. On its upper floor is a room that is reserved for those who made the bookings for the dinner and concert. It is a traditional room, like dining in a castle.
How much does the Salzburg fortress dinner and concert cost? It depends on your selection of type of concert seats and dinner types. There are three tiers of seating and two tiers of food for dinner. We decided on the cheapest tiers for both. The total cost (including VAT) for each person was 60 euros (not including drinks).
Salzburg Fortress Dinner Menu
Here are pictures of the menu for our Category 2 Salzburg fortress dinner and a page from the wine list. There being two of us, we tried the chicken and fish for main courses. We had a half bottle of Riesling (17.50 euros) to go with our dinner.
The dinner kicked off with bread rolls and creamy tomato soup. We had rather low expectations since we had booked the basic dinner package. The soup was not bad.
It was the same for the main courses. The chicken stuffed with spinach (picture above) was actually quite good. The fish fillet with creamy herb sauce was a plainer dish. It was quite bland. Thank goodness we had the Riesling. Walking around the fortress in the crisp evening air must have worked up our appetites. We could almost finish up all our food.
Dessert was a simple dumpling with wild berry sauce. The treble clef reminded us that we had a concert to attend up stairs. The atmosphere at the Panorama Restaurant was quite formal but there was no strict dress code. Most people were in smart casual attire. The service was friendly and helpful. Dinner took over an hour as we ate at a leisurely pace.
Salzburg is a city of classical music and there are many venues to catch a concert. Since we were only there for a short visit we thought we could tick off our classical concert to do list with this three-in-one outing to the Salzburg Fortress. The size of the room was about the size of a tennis court. The seats were arranged in approximately 10 long rows. The VIP tickets were for the front row and the Category 2 seats were placed in the last row. Everything else in between were Category 1 seats. It is first come, first served within each category. We had decent centre seats in the back row. We thought that they were good enough seats although those right in front would have had a better immersive experience with the music. I cannot remember what was on the program that day. I believe they played popular classics ranging from Mozart to Strauss. The concert lasted around 90 minutes with a short interval in between.
Overall we had a memorable evening at the Salzburg Fortress Dinner and Concert. There was, admittedly, a touristy dimension to it, but as a package to visit a historic landmark, a nice dinner and be entertained to a concert, we thought it was good value for money.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
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